The giving of gold to a newly wedded couple by relatives and friends during marriage ceremonies is one item on Turkey's very long list of wedding traditions. However, this long-practiced ritual morphed into something different to be safer for guests and couples amid the risks of COVID-19 at a ceremony in Turkey’s northwestern Tekirdağ province.
Guests were in for a surprise when they were confronted with the dummies of Sinem and Sinan Dağ upon entering the wedding salon. They were quickly informed that the unusual sight was a measure taken to prevent personal contact between guests and the newlyweds. Guests pinned their gold to the dummies, and the couple later collected the gifts.
The government previously announced strict measures for marriage ceremonies. Weddings would have to be short and held outdoors as much as possible while guests are required to wear masks and sit at least 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) apart from each other. The new regulations, including a ban on dancing among guests, leave little room or time for fun.
Turkish weddings are usually lavish and peppered with an abundance of customs, from giving gifts to the newlyweds to hours of dancing which every guest should participate in, sometimes alone and sometimes together. Shaking hands or kissing the bride and groom is also an inseparable part of wedding ceremonies and guests line up for it. Meals or snacks are served to hundreds of guests.